Nutrition prof: Milk is ho-ho-wholesome

December 13, 2012  


Connie Weaver

Connie Weaver
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — More adults should consider following Santa's lead and enjoy milk more often, says a Purdue University nutrition expert.

"Milk is one of the most concentrated sources of nutrients, especially for calcium, vitamin D and potassium, three of the four shortfall nutrients highlighted by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines," says Connie Weaver, distinguished professor of nutrition science. "Most individuals are short on these nutrients. People can either eat a variety of foods to acquire these nutrients, or they can go with a regular one-cup serving of milk, which packs these needed nutrients.

"Of course, while we want to see more adults drinking milk like Santa, they need to remember to go easy on the cookies."

Milk is often thought of a child's drink, but many adults need to boost their diet with dairy. Milk goes beyond bone strength, and people of all ages can benefit from this rich food source, says Weaver, who is an expert in calcium metabolism, mineral bioavailability and bone health. Milk also is a source of protein, and low-fat dairy products can be a part of a balanced diet to lose weight.

The recommended daily amount of calcium for healthy bone mass in adult men and women is 1,000 milligrams. Men 51-70 should consume 1,000 milligrams and women of the same age should consume 1,200 milligrams. Once 71, both genders should consume 1,200 milligrams each day.

The recommended levels of calcium for children and adolescents were established based on Weaver's research on calcium levels for healthy bone growth during puberty to prevent osteoporosis later in life. She is now focusing on health issues related to the shortfall nutrients targeted by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Advisory Committee for Americans.

Weaver is a member of the Institute of Medicine, which is the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences.

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Source: Connie Weaver, 765-494-8237, weavercm@purdue.edu

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